Following Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, he once again creates a vibrantly gushing musical, this time about lovers who happen to be mismatched and lost from one another without even knowing it.***************************
The Young Girls of Rochefort. Following Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, he once again creates a vibrantly gushing musical, this time about lovers who happen to be mismatched and lost from one another without even knowing it. But unlike the prior musical this one is not entirely sung. A travelling circus of dancers come to Rochefort, with the female moiety dropping out before a scheduled show. The two males must find replacements, and maybe it isn’t coincidence that the café owner that the blonde male has been despondently describing his feminine ideal to could in fact be her mother. Of course that daughter (Catherine Deneuve) is looking too, after just dumping her depressive painter boyfriend, while her sister (her real-life sister Françoise Dorléac) might have found Mr. Right at a sheet music store, while his long-time friend (Gene Kelly, wearing a bright pink shirt) is visiting in town and happened to be in love with the girls’ mother years ago. Boy-oh-boy is right! Ghislain Cloquet’s widescreen photography is some of the clearest, most beautiful cinematography captured on-screen, and the descriptions of “stunning” and “breathtaking” still cannot capture the true beauty of the visuals. The dances and choreography are average as are the songs, none of which particularly stick with you or are memorable beyond leaving the theater. And for a musical, for the songs to be the most forgettable element about the movie, it’s an understatement to say that it is disappointing. Kelly’s few scenes are the most enchanting and carefree, while Deneuve and her voice score highly as well. Deneuve is in a class and breed of her own, even outside of her own sister.
With Danielle Darrieux and Jacques Perrin.Final Verdict: B-.